Monster in the City
The next time you are taking a stroll on Carter Road, you may find an unlikely visitor in the shape of a gargantuan shiny gold, balloon-like machine. A part of Vibha Galhotra’s travelling art project, this installation titled Neo Monster is the result of the artist’s engagement with the city and a comment on the fast-changing urban landscape.art and culture Updated: Apr 26, 2012 17:25 IST
The next time you are taking a stroll on Carter Road, you may find an unlikely visitor in the shape of a gargantuan shiny gold, balloon-like machine. A part of Vibha Galhotra’s travelling art project, this installation titled Neo Monster is the result of the artist’s engagement with the city and a comment on the fast-changing urban landscape.
“My work narrates the life of a disordered society, with all the clashes and tensions that contemporary life brings along. People build walls around themselves to create order. With my alien-like piece, I’m depicting the monstrosity that has come about with our shift from a horizontal to a vertical landscape,” she says.
Previously exhibited in Delhi, Nagaland and Colombo, Neo Monster, an earthmover machine made of an inflatable balloon, will be exhibited at Lower Parel’s High Street Phoenix and Carter Road, Bandra, this week.
Galhotra’s catalogue consists of squirm-inducing work. Ask her why she chose this piece in particular and she says, “It’s the easiest to move around. In fact it can be packed into a suitcase and rearranged and inflated anywhere with the help of an air blower. Most of my other work is in metal, which is hard to transport.”
In a city where the lack of public art has been lamented by art enthusiasts, Vibha’s larger-than-life efforts aren’t exactly pleasing to the eye. So how does adding to the city’s ugliness help? “It’s important to show people
what they are doing and how it’s all getting piled up to form this urban chaos. I’m an artist, not an activist. I show things through my visuals. It may or may not change society,” she says, adding, “Also the installation is travelling, so it’s temporary and won’t be part of the city’s landscape.”
Vibha is also planning to document the reactions of onlookers. “Its size makes sure that it grabs everyone’s attention. I want to see how people engage with the piece. While some see it as a destroyer of homes, other viewers, especially the ones at malls, are fascinated and even pose with it for pictures,” she laughs, adding, “The mockery of it all is that I’ll be selling miniature replicas of the earthmover at the venues. This is to show people’s obsession with glittery, gold objects. And believe me, many people buy it.”
Neo Monster is on display at the Courtyard at High Street Phoenix on April 27 and at Carter Road promenade on April 29